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Prospect Breakdown: Branden Gaunce

Brendan Gaunce has all the makings of an elite NHL prospect. The top offensive player for the Belleville Bulls, Gaunce is a big-bodied, powerful center who knows how to put the puck in the net. He has excellent vision on the ice and his skating ability is better than most of the “big men” available in this year’s draft. He also has a cannon of a shot.
What I like most about Gaunce has nothing to do with his on-ice talent. His leadership skills are fantastic. Gaunce is a no nonsense type of player who will always make his players be accountable for their actions. If they make a mental error, then Gaunce will let them know about it. He has every bit of personality that a future NHL captain needs.
Gaunce nearly doubled his 2010 season point total, scoring 68 points (28g 40a). Proving that he still has a ceiling that has yet to be fully reached.
A disappointing second half to an otherwise successful 2011/2012 season caused Gaunce’s pre-draft ranking to fall a bit, but he still remains in the top-15 of the International Scouting Service’s prospect rankings.
He’s a coveted prospect because of his play style. A physically dominant potential number two center is such a pivotal spot to fill on an NHL roster in today’s league that teams will jump at the opportunity to take one. It’s that reason that makes me feel that Gaunce will get taken in the top 10.
However, I’m not taking anything away from him as a player. He is worthy of a top 15 pick, but I feel he may get over-drafted, and by over-drafted I mean he will get taken in the Top-7. That being said, Gauce just may be the best two-way forward available in the draft.


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